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How To Check Your Transmission Fluid

Shifter for an automatic or CVT
The transmission fluid in your vehicle is integral to the health of your transmission and engine, but many Belton drivers may be wondering: “What is transmission fluid?” and “What does transmission fluid do for my vehicle?” The transmission fluid in your car serves as both a lubricant and a hydraulic fluid that helps your vehicle shift from gear to gear, while also cooling your transmission as you drive.

Checking your transmission fluid regularly will help prevent maintenance issues before they can become serious and costly problems. Learn how to check your transmission fluid and how often to check your transmission fluid with the Don Ringler Toyota service team below.

Checking Your Transmission Fluid

If you’re wondering how often to check your transmission fluid, you should be performing this task monthly alongside checking your tire pressure, engine oil, and other engine fluids. This allows you to keep an eye on how much transmission fluid you have and that it’s color and consistency are correct.

If it’s time for you to perform your monthly checks on your Toyota vehicle, you can learn how to check your transmission fluid in the steps below:

  1. Run your Toyota for five to ten minutes if it wasn’t running beforehand. Your engine needs to be warm – but not hot – to properly check your transmission fluid levels.
  2. Use your Toyota owner’s manual to find the transmission fluid dipstick.
  3. Remove the dipstick and use your fingers to feel the fluid. Your transmission fluid should be nearly clear with a pinkish hue. If it looks dirty or smells burnt, it’s time for a transmission fluid replacement.
  4. Use a rag or a paper towel to wipe off the dipstick. Insert it back into your vehicle and pull it out again to check the fluid levels. If the fluid is below the “full” marking, you’ll need to add more.
  5. You can easily use a funnel to refill your transmission fluid. Take care to not overfill it.

Checking the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission

If your Toyota vehicle has a sealed transmission, you won’t have a dipstick to check your transmission fluid levels. A sealed transmission is built to limit the amount of transmission fluid that’s wasted on your daily Killeen drives. Eventually, your transmission fluid will need to be refilled and replaced though. If you hear any of the following, it’s time to schedule a service appointment with the Don Ringler Toyota service team.

  • You can hear strange noises when the gears change.
  • The gears hesitate before changing.
  • During acceleration, there’s a noticeable delay when the gears shift.

The Basics Of Transmission Fluid

The transmission is one of the most complex parts of your vehicle and needs to be cared for properly. When it’s time to check or replace your transmission fluid, follow the tips below:

  • There is no “one size fits all” transmission fluid. Different types of transmissions will require different types of fluid. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find the right transmission fluid for your Toyota model.
  • If you have a manual transmission, you’ll need a jack to access a plug located beneath the car. If you’re a Waco DIY mechanic, this may be an easy task, or you can bring your vehicle into Don Ringler Toyota and let our technicians do the work for you.
  • If your vehicle hesitates before shifting gears, it may be due to low transmission fluid. However, it could also be a sign of a more serious problem. Check your transmission fluid level first, then schedule a service appointment with our team for a full diagnostic review.
  • Your transmission fluid will need to be replaced about every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. However, the actual amount depends on your driving habits, the type of transmission your vehicle has, and other factors. You can check your owner’s manual or chat with our service team for a specific transmission fluid replacement schedule.

Get Vehicle Service At Don Ringler Toyota

The service technicians at Don Ringler Toyota are trained to work on all types of Toyota models and transmissions. If you’re bringing your Toyota in for a tire rotation or an oil change, our service team will be happy to check or replace your transmission fluid in the process. Browse our service specials for savings on your next visit, then schedule an appointment with our team today! Discover more auto service tips such as how long an oil change takes and all it includes to ensure your car runs at its best.

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